Norway travel advice

Norway travel advice

Tips from our friends in Norway

Freewheeling all day long

Britt Elton from our supplier Norske Bygdeopplevelser offers her Norway travel advice: “Biking in the fjord landscape, you see spectacular waterfalls, green-blue fjords and high mountains covered with snow, changing side on the fjords with local ferries - which cyclists like! Rallarvegen is Norway’s most popular cycling route, from arctic mountain nature across the Hardangervidda National Park to the verdant Flåmsdalen valley – which has a lot of waterfalls – and the wild west coast. You ride from the highest point (1,222m) down to zero! In northern Norway in summer, the sun never goes down! So you have light both day and night to see towering mountains, ocean vistas and thousands of islands. The landscape along the coast is easy to cycle - the highest points are often the bridges you pass over!”

Breathe in the air

Laura Greenman from our supplier Magnetic North has something to say about the very air itself in her Norway travel advice:
“One part of Norwegian life which influences many of our trips is the idea of Friluftsliv. Translated literally as 'free air life', Friluftsliv is about enjoying nature and the outdoors in a simple and uncomplicated way. It is not about conquering a mountain peak or going to any extremes of nature, but rather enjoying the outdoors and reaping the benefits of nature to our own well-being.”

So what time is it?

Andrew Appleyard from our supplier Exodus has Norway travel advice about the unique hours and conditions visitors may find themselves keeping at different times of the year: “The Northern Lights are a magical experience that one never tires of - but bear in mind you will be in virtual total darkness during the winter months up to at least January 26. In complete contrast, our summer voyages to the Arctic are in 24 hours of daylight! This makes for stunning wildlife viewing – but expect to get woken up at 3am if we see polar bears on the horizon or a pod of whales emerging from the bows of the ship.”

A secret enclave

Charles Wara from our supplier Aurora Borealis shares his Norway travel advice on a sometimes overlooked part of the country:
“The eastern part of the county of Finnmark is a very under-rated region. It's a perfect area for winter activities like cross-country skiing and the Northern Lights, while in spring, summer and autumn it's great for bird watching, hiking and fishing. There's plenty to do and see.”

Health & safety



Tap water is safe in Norway - but beware drinking from streams as even the cleanest-looking water may harbour parasites such as giardia. Boiling will make it safe – or use purifying tablets such as Biox Aqua drops with you if you are going off the beaten track.

Rabies is present in certain parts of Norway – specifically, Svalbard and Finnmark. Any bite from dogs, cats, foxes or bats is a potential risk - thoroughly clean the spot immediately with soapy water then apply alcohol or iodine solution.


Strict safety rules apply against the threat from polar bears on Spitsbergen/Svalbard. In recent years, visitors have been killed and others injured in attacks. If traveling beyond certain points in the main town Longyearbyen, travelers must be armed with – and proficient in using - a high-powered rifle. If camping, alarms must be set-up – and tested - around tents to warn of any approaching bear. If you kill or shoot at a bear, you must report it to local authorities.

Always check weather forecasts and information on other local conditions (e.g. crevasses on glaciers) before setting out cross-country – hikers and skiers have died after ignoring advice in popular hiking areas like the Hardangervidda Plateau. Conditions can become treacherous almost any time of the year apart from July and August. And even in high summer, be aware of the risk of avalanches, particularly in high areas like Jotunheimen.

Never venture onto a glacier without proper equipment and experience, and always consult locals on current conditions. Even better, go with an experienced guide.

Tips from our travelers in Norway

Recommendations from those who have been there

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Norway travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation - and the space inside your suitcase.
“Visit the Art Gallery and Museum in Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen).” - John Vose

“Listen to your guide - they know what they are talking about and are responsible for the safety of you and the rest of the group - don't wander off.” - Julie Davis

“Bring warm clothes - even in summer. The temperature can go from being really quite warm when the sun is out to being pretty cold when it isn't!” - Mark Heron

"Don't set your heart on seeing anything specific. Be prepared for the changes in weather. It's not as challenging as I expected - to take account of the huge spectrum of ages and abilities. But most of all HAVE FUN!" - Lisa Thomas

"Try and keep a spare night free in case you fail to see lights the first time you try" - Amandeep Manget

"Make sure you have petrol if driving although there are filling stations, they do not take cash and are often unmanned so credit card essential" - Jo Dunstone

"If you want good photographs make sure you have a camera with long range focus as you are often at a distance from wildlife so as not to disturb them" - Susie Barrett

"Go for it! The weather was sunny on 4/6 days and temps varied between 10-25 degrees. As long as you remember to take warm clothes and waterproofs, there is no problem. The adventure will be one of my most memorable vacations" - Sally Sheppard

Photo credits: [cycle: Tristan Schmurr] [Aurora Borealis: Dan Nordal] [camera: Natesh Ramasamy] [polar bear: jidanchaomian]
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